In honor of Mother's Day, I wanted to share some things that my mom has taught me over the past 26 1/2 years.
My beautiful mother this past Christmas.
- My mom has taught me to love others. She has done this mostly by example, but this also makes me think of her strategy for reconciling bickering siblings. If two of us were fighting (which happened a lot with 6 opinionated and stubborn children), she would make us sit next to each other hugging or holding hands (or sometimes even kissing!!!) until we were laughing or at least tolerating each other once again. Pretty clever, and very clearly telling us, "You will love one another." And you know what? We do.
Our whole family this year at Christmas Eve - me, Jason, and Janie, Mom, my sister Nicole and her husband Nate, my sisters Jaime and Cassidy, my brother Zachary and his girlfriend Ana, my brother Andy and his wife Rachel - these are the people whom I love. Big time.
All of us again (minus Ana - we didn't know her yet!) at our wedding.
- My mom has taught me to be generous. My parents thought nothing of giving of themselves, their time, their money, and their other resources. I am so grateful to have been raised in a home where generosity was modeled daily. The things that my mom has done to be giving to others are the kinds of things that you read about in magazines and hear about in sermons at church. I love that about my mom.
The best thing about her generosity - it is always with a cheerful heart.
- My mom taught me to have fun. My mom is known for sometimes doing some crazy things. Most of these can be seen at the airport. She loves to dress up (and have the whole family dress up with her) and go to the airport to pick up whomever may be visiting, or returning from a trip, in some crazy outfits. These adventures started at Christmas time when Andy came home from college (think elves, Santa, Mrs. Clause, reindeers, and loud singing and shouting), and have grown to include 4th of July outfits, gator outfits, and most recently, large and crazy costumes from the skating rink.
Just in case you thought I was kidding. :)
I love seeing my mom laugh!
- My mom taught me to keep traditions. My mom is a big keeper of traditions. I love that about her because those traditions make us all feel so loved and safe. The pickle on the Christmas tree, fireworks for every holiday (even my wedding!), our annual New Year's Eve fondue party, and even those crazy airport pickups are things that I always look forward to and make us so so happy!
Reading the Christmas story on Christmas morning.
I love that my mom remembered this tradition this year. Every year for my entire life, my dad gave me a stuffed monkey for Christmas. This year, my mom gave one to Janie. That meant so much to me. (Also, I think Janie's face is priceless!)
- My mom taught me to work whole-heartedly. My mom puts her whole self into her job as an elementary principal, and that clearly shows if you spend some time in her school. I'm glad that I was able to work for my mom for awhile before I moved up to Pennsylvania with Jason because her example of putting her entire self into work was exactly what I needed to experience before starting the job I have now!
- My mom taught me to be creative. I remember as a child that we had a closet full of craft materials to do whatever we wanted with it. It was the best! And I can't ever remember my mom telling me to do this or do that, she just let me do what I wanted. I realize now how important that was.
- My mom taught me to support my family. Between the six of us, we had a lot of activities, and the one thing that I realize looking back on it is - we supported each other. We went to gymnastics meets, we cheered at football and basketball games, and we drove all over the state for baseball and volleyball tournaments. It was never really an option but none of us ever really wanted it to be. That's what we did - showed up for our family.
Mother's Day about ten years ago in Miami.
- My mom taught me to love my husband. I am so grateful for the example that my mom set for me in her marriage to my dad. She loved him for their whole life together, and then mourned him in the most loving and incredible way. I'm so proud to be their daughter.
My mom walking me down the aisle for both herself and my dad.
- My mom taught me to fellowship with others. We always had people over at our house, out to lunch or dinner with us, or piled in our car for a fun trip. I love that about our family! And I love that my mom encouraged us all to have friendships and to make those friends a part of our family.
Our whole gang at Andy's graduation in Vermont.
I love you, Mom. Thanking for teaching me so much. I hope to be as wonderful a mother to Janie as you are to me. Happy Mother's Day!
I also want to wish a Happy Mother's Day to my mother-in-law, Norma. I'm so grateful for our relationship and for the care and love you give to Janie each day. I love you.
Happy Mother's Day to my grandmothers as well! I love you, Granny and Grandma!